Jack Daniels calls time off from running due to injury a "setback". He identifies their cause as an error in judgement in training. Seeing the positive side of setbacks, he notes that they have a positive effect on the runner's attitude. While a runner often become depressed while experiencing the setback, he/she usually returns to running with heightened motivation. This enthusiasm can lead the runner to become injured again by returning to previous running mileage and intensity.

My setback was the first in three years, an unusual healthy period of time for a recreational runner. I attribute this to a holistic approach to exercise. In my previous setback, I discovered the split squat. This movement provides a strong stimulus to peripheral muscles in the leg and along the kinetic chain to provide greater stability while running. I ran without issue until my experimentation with zero-drop and minimal shoes. However, I do not think that running in shoes made with this design philosophy caused my current setback. Rather, the particular model I chose is extremely light and, I believe, unstable for my needs.

As with previous setbacks, the extra time and energy I have from not running gives me opportunity to increase my strength training. My knowledge of this form of exercise was mostly gained in the 1980's. I have learned a lot from re-focusing on strength in the era of the Internet and YouTube. My technique in the dead lift has improved dramatically. I learned about the split squat. I have also become convinced of the advantages of combining strength and cardiovascular training to create a more holistic approach to training for health.

Honestly, the setback experience has not been completely positive. I've manage to put on roughly five pounds over the many months. This has a strongly negative impact on my self-image and sense of well-being.

When thinking about the conflicting emotional currents that I've experienced in this Setback of 2018, one moment stands out. An older non-runner remarked at one point during my long down time: "Well, you are getting older...", expressed with emphasis on the verb. Yet, I have watched my non-running peers, often while predicting my eminent demise from running by injury, get knee and hip replacements, pacemakers, or succumb to the universal expanding waist line. I've found the remark to be somewhat taunting and exceptionally motivating. My non-runner friend completely misses the point of all the physical activity. Getting older mandates the activity, it does not provide an excuse to quit it. In our society, the remark becomes an invitation and a challenge: "Give up what you're doing and come get old like us. It's easier. Come be mediocre with us." I train because the alternative is too terrible to contemplate.

 I have said it before: what we associate with getting older is nothing but the accumulated effects of lives spent poisoning ourselves with poor nutrition and completely inadequate amounts of exercise. Miraculously, these effects are reversible, but are best avoided altogether.